‘It’s gut-wrenching’ | Community mourns North Texas teen and U of Alabama equipment manager killed in wreck

“He’s probably the most unique 19-year-old anybody could have ever met. He was extremely intentional in every single thing that he did,” said aunt Melissa Grubbs.

PROSPER, Texas — A large number of friends and family gathered outside Children’s Health stadium in Prosper to remember the young man killed on Texas roads this week. 

Caden Clay, 19, died in a car accident near Longview. Clay, who lived in Prosper and went to school at Prosper High School, was heading to Tuscaloosa, Alabama where he goes to college. 

The University of Alabama sophomore was studying sports management and was the equipment manager on the Alabama football team.

“I just got the message that he’s gone. It was gut-wrenching, it was terrible,” said his uncle JT Grubbs.

Clay was described as a young man who was highly motivated, kind, and very gifted. 

“He is probably the most unique 19-year-old anybody could have ever met. He was extremely intentional in every single thing that he did,” said his aunt Melissa Grubbs.

His high school football coaches said Caden or ‘Slick Willie’ had always wanted to be the equipment manager for the football powerhouse. Coach Devin Lemons said if Caden commits to something, he’s destined to get it.

“You couldn’t outwork him. He had the greatest outlook and most positive attitude on life,” said Coach Lemons.

Just last week Caden brought lunch to have with Coaches Ty Lenard and Lemons before he left for Alabama for summer camps. The coaches are heartbroken to know that would be the last moments they’d share.

“I have two little girls and the only sons I have are my players. So to get to hug a son, I can’t replace that,” said Lenard.

Some hats and shirts read #BEACADEN that are sold around town. The family tells WFAA that Caden relied so much on his faith and that’s what separated him from his peers.

“I can’t think of anything that anybody would want to be than to be a Caden. That young man was incredible,” said Grubbs.

Alabama Football devoted a social media post expressing condolences to the Clay family. 

Alabama mourns the loss of football student manager Caden Clay. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

Posted by Alabama Football on Wednesday, May 29, 2024

The family tells WFAA that legendary Alabama coach Nick Saban and his family sent a bouquet of flowers to the family home in Prosper. Meanwhile, the high school he attended and the city hall were lit in crimson red in Caden’s honor.

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